Alexandria, VA

Feed The Fight Alexandria has given out more than 4,000 meals to Inova hospital workers during the pandemic, and the nonprofit’s founders plan to continue as long as there is a need.

Neighbors Ali De Jongh Whitley and Jennifer Kearney Desiderio modeled their work after Feed The Fight D.C., and since April have delivered daily meals to Inova Alexandria Hospital, Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and Inova Fairfax Hospital.

“These frontline heroes are so touched by the kindness of everyone in Alexandria,” Whitley told ALXnow. “They’re exhausted and overwhelmed and a lot of their colleagues have been laid off.”

Whitley and Desiderio emailed 100 of their closest friends and acquaintances in Alexandria for donations, and the nonprofit has ground by word of mouth. The organization buys the meals from various restaurants, including numerous Alexandria Restaurant Partners and Homegrown Restaurant Group eateries.

Bill Blackburn, a partner with the Homegrown Restaurant Group, said he was proud to work with the organization.

“Homegrown restaurant group is grateful for the work Ali and her team have done connecting donors, restaurants and frontline employees for a win-win-win result,” Blackburn said. “It’s great to see people in our community rising to the occasion and helping.”

Whitley, a former teacher, said she’s thinking about expanding the meal service for Alexandria’s uniformed first responders, and that she currently needs more support from the Fairfax community.

“We need money from Fairfax because we’re helping a lot with Fairfax hospital, and most of our money’s coming out of Alexandria, and we’d like for the people in Fairfax to be a little bit more involved,” she said. “We will continue helping as long as we can. As long as there is a need, we’re here to fill that need.”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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